Food Law News - UK - 2012

FSA News Item, 12 June 2012

HYGIENE - Meat plant found guilty of delivering over-temperature meat

The Food Standards Agency has brought a successful prosecution against an Essex slaughterhouse for deliveries of over-temperature meat. A judge found Elmkirk Limited guilty on all eight charges under the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations, fined the company £12,000 and ordered it to pay prosecution costs of nearly £26,000.

The offencesSeven of the offences concerned the delivery of meat from Elmkirk Limited to meat wholesalers based at Smithfield Market in London. Elmkirk Limited had previously had its approval to transport warm (more than 7°C) meat to premises in Smithfield withdrawn, but continued to do so. Elmkirk Limited was therefore found guilty of continuing to make these deliveries without the necessary authorisation.

The other offence concerned a delivery of over-temperature meat from Elmkirk Limited to premises in Leeds. This was a journey in excess of two hours and the meat should have been chilled and kept chilled before and during transportation.

In his summary of the case, the judge stressed that the regulations are aimed at securing a high standard of consumer protection with a risk-based approach to food safety.

More about the regulationsUnder European Union food hygiene Regulation (EC) No 853/2004, immediately following post-mortem inspection by FSA officials, red meat carcasses must be chilled at the slaughterhouse to ensure a temperature throughout the meat of not more than 7°C. Unless otherwise authorised by the FSA, meat must attain this temperature before being transported and remain at the temperature during transportation.

In England, Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 is implemented by the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations.

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